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Magic Mountain

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Architect Ko Wibowo designed a house of prodigious proportions beneath the hulking rise of Mount Ranier.
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  A trap-door opening at the top of the house allows for better circulation.  Photo by: John Clark
    A trap-door opening at the top of the house allows for better circulation.

    Photo by: John Clark

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  The stairwell is the bright core of the house. To keep an open feeling, and costs down, it zigzags its way up. Inexpensive metal railings are set inside and painted the same red to disappear into the stairwell.  Photo by: John Clark
    The stairwell is the bright core of the house. To keep an open feeling, and costs down, it zigzags its way up. Inexpensive metal railings are set inside and painted the same red to disappear into the stairwell.

    Photo by: John Clark

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  The kitchen and dining room.  Photo by: John Clark
    The kitchen and dining room.

    Photo by: John Clark

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  Geometric notches in the kitchen cabinetry are simple and cost-effective substitutes for metal cabinet pulls—they also provide visual interest in an otherwise unadorned space.  Photo by: John Clark
    Geometric notches in the kitchen cabinetry are simple and cost-effective substitutes for metal cabinet pulls—they also provide visual interest in an otherwise unadorned space.

    Photo by: John Clark

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  The Wibowo family spends most of their time together on the first floor. "We're always here, cooking or with the kids," Wibowo explains. "On a nice day, we open up the doors and eat outside."  Photo by: John Clark
    The Wibowo family spends most of their time together on the first floor. "We're always here, cooking or with the kids," Wibowo explains. "On a nice day, we open up the doors and eat outside."

    Photo by: John Clark

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  When residents want privacy (from the outside world or from other family members), sliding curtains, like this one dividing the office from the staircase, create temporary walls between rooms. "When you close the curtains, you can't see anything," says Wibowo. "It's more like Asian culture, where you don't want to show everything all at once. We want to be in control of what guests see."  Photo by: John Clark
    When residents want privacy (from the outside world or from other family members), sliding curtains, like this one dividing the office from the staircase, create temporary walls between rooms. "When you close the curtains, you can't see anything," says Wibowo. "It's more like Asian culture, where you don't want to show everything all at once. We want to be in control of what guests see."

    Photo by: John Clark

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  To mirror the mountaintop, Wibowo drew three points at the top of the roof (one at the apex, two at intermediate points), then connected all the walls off at least one of those points. The result is a jagged yet sliding set of angles capping the structure. Inside, the top of the house is like a bright white snowcap.  Photo by: John Clark
    To mirror the mountaintop, Wibowo drew three points at the top of the roof (one at the apex, two at intermediate points), then connected all the walls off at least one of those points. The result is a jagged yet sliding set of angles capping the structure. Inside, the top of the house is like a bright white snowcap.

    Photo by: John Clark

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  Musical accompaniment to daily life is provided by the children, both of whom play the grand piano.  Photo by: John Clark
    Musical accompaniment to daily life is provided by the children, both of whom play the grand piano.

    Photo by: John Clark

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  The master bedroom.  Photo by: John Clark
    The master bedroom.

    Photo by: John Clark

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  Inside, the space is spare but infused with color because "painting is the cheapest way to decorate." Twelve-year-old Tabitha's room is pink.  Photo by: John Clark
    Inside, the space is spare but infused with color because "painting is the cheapest way to decorate." Twelve-year-old Tabitha's room is pink.

    Photo by: John Clark

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  The third floor, a massive unfurnished loftlike area, is "white, like the ice on top of the mountain," Wibowo says.  Photo by: John Clark
    The third floor, a massive unfurnished loftlike area, is "white, like the ice on top of the mountain," Wibowo says.

    Photo by: John Clark

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  To add extra illumination to the third floor loft, Wibowo placed Dan Flavinesque sculptural (and inexpensive) four-foot-long fluorescent tubes into the slanted ceiling.  Photo by: John Clark
    To add extra illumination to the third floor loft, Wibowo placed Dan Flavinesque sculptural (and inexpensive) four-foot-long fluorescent tubes into the slanted ceiling.

    Photo by: John Clark

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